I had spotted this adorable little plant at Mercado San Agustin. It seemed like a perfect match for the cafe table it was sitting on.
Can you name all the U.S. cities that have the UNESCO “City of Gastronomy” designation?
There’s actually only one: Tucson, Arizona.
It received the designation, in part, because of its agricultural tradition that goes back thousands of years.
One of the early plants cultivated in the region for food, medicine, and fiber was agave, the spiked succulent best known today for tequila.
The annual Agave Heritage Festival in Tucson celebrates both ancient and contemporary uses of the plant and its importance to the region.
We got to participate in the first weekend of this year’s festival, which runs through May 7th.
We took a tour of ancient agave farming and roasting sites on Tumamoc Hill, learned about cooking with agave (both in traditional fire pits and with modern appliances), tasted different agave-based beverages, including tequila and bacanora, and saw how agave fiber can be twisted into rope and crafted into all kinds of things.
We’ll be celebrating here all this week with daily posts about Tucson and agave, so come back and visit!
PS We were guests of Hotel Congress, one of the presenters of the festival.
I love it when I’m walking and spot a nest in a tree.
It feels like a small discovery, like finding an Easter egg (no pun intended) or a secret door.
From the time I was a little kid, my dad taught me how to look for signs of what’s going on in the natural world, pointing out the high waterline above a dry riverbed, animal tracks in the dirt, cottonwood trees where there’s water, and all kinds of habitats – burrows and holes and nests.
At the Arboretum recently, we saw a man was pointing out a nest in a tree for his grandson.
“You guys should check this one out, too.” I showed them a large nest right in the middle of a cholla cactus that would’ve been hidden from their viewpoint.
I can’t think of a safer place for a home – or a trickier place to build it.
It’s been a really colorful spring with lots of wildflowers and a few new additions to our patio garden.
So, for March, I chose this photo of a couple geraniums Phillip rescued from some plant department clearance bin. We also have blooms on our nasturtiums and our dwarf pomegranate tree. The hummingbirds are loving it all, and so am I.
Also, we spotted this bus the other day that said “Let’s be better humans.” I don’t know what the story is behind it, but it’s a good message!
When we moved, we found ourselves near a place with great banh mi, which are Vietnamese sandwiches on French bread with these marinated vegetables and thinly sliced meats. It’s a beautiful blending of cultures.
My brother Ian says the many banh mi places in Seattle all seem to charge exactly $3.98 for a sandwich. As with many things, they’re even cheaper here in Phoenix. It’s a lotta deliciousness for your buck.
Have you tried banh mi? Do you have a favorite spot near you?